Thursday, June 26, 2008

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back, Repeat.

It's been a little tough getting excited about keeping a blog when I've been so far removed from the action on Mallard Ave, though there's been no shortage of phone activity on our end - talking to Donna (our wonderful contractor who's made great progress on the foundation), electrical workers, HVAC folks, the security company, etc. etc. etc. It's my parents, at this point, who have to (or get to, depending on how you look at it) be the ones actually watching things unfold, and learn the nuances of our dumpy-but-full-of-potential little house.

There has indeed been progress, which is exciting, but for every two steps we make towards "livable", a road block comes up and either delays us, or it rains on our parade a little bit. Things like, for example, our electrician who refuses to call Matt back but instead would call my mom or dad, even though Matt was handing things; or the across-the-street neighbors who like to use a little wooded part of our land as a free-for-all dumping grounds (no trash bags necessary!); or the little sliver of land we're in the midst of purchasing for which no official deed seems to be found. It's all getting worked out with time and patience. But I am prepared for the whole process to be like this, sometimes even more so.

Here are a few of my favorite elements of late. First the front dormer, which will eventually have a window of some sort cut into it:

...something like this (the house next door):

The original (I think) wood trim, and the way the light comes into the windows on both the east and west sides of the house (this is east morning light): Won't it look beautiful spilling onto hardwood floors? Can't wait to raise those ceilings, too.

The piles of letter found underneath the house just waiting to be pored over, and other treasures:

Donna's handiwork (boring to you, maybe, but to me this means progress!):

The huge attic waiting to become a guest loft accessed by spiral staircase (check out the transformation this woman performed on hers):

The kitchen, which will be opened up to the living room, and have a door added in this wall onto an eventual back deck:

The existing arch, and the idea of adding others elsewhere in the house:

Perhaps the most exciting piece of news so far: running water! Isn't it beautiful?

On a neighborhood note, things seem to be moving along quickly in ours, especially on Mallard Avenue which mere months ago sat completely abandoned. Our neighbors like Jesse and Tyler (whom my dad has dubbed "Mayor of Mallard") keep us posted and send names and numbers our way for repair folks, and have big plans for making our street a great place to live.

A week or so ago, Matt and I watched an incredible documentary which hit on lots of issues we've been thinking about as we embark on moving to Cleveland-Holloway. It's called "Flag Wars" and it takes place in a neighborhood of Columbus, OH. The characters' circumstances differ a bit, as well as the ratio of homeowners to renters, but many of the tensions felt very applicable. We were both moved by this film. Go rent it, friends and neighbors.

Next up: security is installed, we have temporary electric, and how to deal with trash-dumping neighbors! See you then!